Kid-approved recipes with clementines

Jan 23, 2009 at 2:47 p.m. ET

Clementines are a juicy sweet citrus bursting with vitamin C, folate, fiber and potassium. Because they are smaller than an orange - think mandarin - and seedless, they are particularly fun for kids to peel and eat. Ceci Carmichael, mother of a seven year old, a contributing editor for Family Circle and former host on the Food Network, has teamed up with Clementines from Spain to spread the word on the healthful versatility clementines have to offer. She shares three kid-approved recipes - two savory and one sweet - featuring this delectable little fruit.

Young Boy with Clementines

Clementines make cooking with your kids fun

Ceci Carmichael, a busy mom who loves to cook as well as make time for hardcore triathlons, recently launched her mom-friendly blog Quick Kitchen to give families budget-friendly recipes and fun tips to get the kids involved in making family meals. Including yummy recipes with juicy sweet clementines.

"Because I'm a mom, a lot of the recipes will be geared to making meals that every one in the family will eat," explains Carmichael. " I know plenty of people end up making two dinners a night. I was one of them and I realized, who has this kind of time?"

Carmichael, who knows from experience that it's easier to pull out a frozen pizza than beg your child to try something new, says, "Invite kids into the kitchen to help you cook. When I started to involve my son in the process of making a meal, rather than just plunking a plate down in front of him, it made him feel part of the process and he thought it was cool to present and eat the final result."

Clementines are healthy

At 50 calories each and teeming with citrus taste, clementines make getting your fill of antioxidants a delicious endeavor.

Imported from Spain, clementines are available between November and March but reach peak sweetness around December. They are an ideal snack for you and your kiddos and can also perk up your everyday dishes, both savory and sweet.

"All of my recipes below include a variety of tasks you can assign your children, such as peeling the Clementines from Spain – their thin peels make it a snap for kids to do easily and quickly," says Carmichael. Get your kids involved in making these scrumptious recipes and you'll be making quality time for bonding as well as eating healthy, family-friendly meals.

Kid-approved recipes

Visit to sink your teeth into more recipes featuring juicy sweet clementines.

Sugar Snap Peas with Clementines and Mint

Serves 4 to 6

For this colorful dish, your kids can peel the clementines, whisk the vinaigrette and toss the ingredients to coat. Let them proudly serve this crisp tender salad, giving them praise for doing a super job.

1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 cup clementine sections, cut up in 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons clementine zest
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons clementine juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Place sugar snap peas in a large pot of salted boiling water for 3 minutes or until they turn bright green in color. Drain in a colander and plunge sugar snaps peas in a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking.

2. Drain thoroughly and transfer sugar snaps to a serving bowl. Add chopped clementine, zest and mint and toss gently. In a separate medium bowl whisk together olive oil and clementine juice with salt and pepper, pour mixture over sugar snap peas and toss to coat.

Shrimp Stir-Fry with Clementines and Snow Peas

Serves 4

Your kids can blend the sauce and peel the clementines for this healthy recipe. Let them decide if the stir-fry should be served with steamed rice or cooked soba noodles.

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon clementine zest
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-1/2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 pound snow peas, trimmed
1-1/2 cups clementines sections, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

1. Blend the soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, honey, sesame oil and zest in a small bowl and set aside. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium high for 1 minute. Coat bottom of pan with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, add shrimp, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes and transfer mixture to a bowl.

2. Heat another 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the same wok or skillet. Add red peppers and snow peas and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add clementines, green onions and shrimp mixture to the red peppers and snow peas and cook until shrimp are opaque, about 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce mixture and cook until juices thicken, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Clementines from Spain Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Serves 8 to 10

The vibrant flavor of clementines infuses the gingery crust and luscious filling of this cheesecake dessert. For fun, let your kids crush the gingersnaps and break the eggs into a bowl before adding to the filling.

For the crust:
3 cups gingersnap crumbs
1/4 cup of golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons clementine zest
6 tablespoons melted butter

For the filling:
4 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup clementine juice
4 tablespoons clementine zest
3 tablespoons flour
5 large eggs, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. To prepare the crust, in a large bowl, mix together gingersnap crumbs, brown sugar, zest and melted butter until mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer mixture to 9-inch springform pan and press down so that the crumb mixture covers the bottom evenly and comes up the sides of the pan an inch. Place in refrigerator until ready to fill.

2. To prepare the filling, in a large bowl using an electric mixer, blend cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Gradually add sugar, clementine juice and zest, and flour, making sure to scrape down the sides of bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time, continuing to blend until mixture is smooth.

3. Remove crust from refrigerator and fill with cream cheese mixture. Place in the center rack of oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until lightly golden and firm in the center. Let cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife gently between cheesecake and pan. Remove sides of the pan and let cheesecake continue to cool. Slice and serve with clementine segments.

More family-friendly recipes and cooking tips

6 Mom-tested tips to teach your kids how to cook
Kid-friendly vegetable recipes
Food and cooking with kids